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If you’ve ever experimented with making your own café-style beverages at home, you’re probably pretty familiar with milk frothers. These tools are designed to make your drinks more fun and textured by adding frothed milk into the recipe. You can use a milk frother for everything from amazing cappuccinos to delicious lattes.
Just like coffee, milk frothers can come in many different styles. Some of these products might be built into the machines you use every day for your fresh cup of coffee. Other tools to froth milk come as external products, like electric whisps and wands.
Today, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about what is a milk frother, and the different types you can get to transform your coffee drinks.
How Does Milk Frothing Work?
If you don’t know how to use a milk frother, don’t worry. Most of the common products on the market today, like electric milk frothers, and the standard handheld milk frother, will usually come with instructions on how to use them. You can generally use a milk frother to create all kinds of frothed milk drinks, whether you’re using standard cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or something else entirely.
A milk frother is a product that quickly whips milk or creates steam to produce froth. It’s not the same as having whipped cream, but frothing milk can be an excellent addition to drinks like the chai tea latte, hot chocolate, and various speciality coffee drinks.
Milk frothers work by adding air to milk, allowing it to expand and create bubbles. If you’ve ever seen someone at a restaurant or café use a steam wand with an espresso maker before, you’ll have a good idea of how this process works.
What Kind of Milk Frother’s Are There?
There are a lot of different kinds of tools you can use for frothing milk, but the most common options are electric frothers, as a manual frother can take too much time to foam milk. More advanced tools can help you to create warm milk by adding steam to the mix, or ensure you have the perfect texture on top of your drink at the right desired temperature.
The Best Milk Frothers Include:
- Steam wands: These are often attached to your coffee machine or espresso machines as a specific accessory. You will usually see steam wands being used to create speciality drinks in a coffee shop.
- Handheld milk frothers: A handheld electric frother can add some extra foam density to your drinks when you’re trying to make your morning coffee at home. An electric frothing wand or handheld frother is usually quite easy to use and comes with a whisk to add air to drinks.
- Manual frothers: A manual frother is more common among people who don’t want to spend a fortune on a frothing wand. Manual products can also be useful if you want to create cold foam in milk for a cold press coffee.
There are some automatic coffee milk frothers out there that can be even easier to use than the standard handheld frother. These are excellent for creating latte art and unique drinks with hot steam, but the standard automatic frother is often a lot cheaper than the option you get on professional espresso machines.
Using a Milk Frother: How Does it Work?
All the best milk frothers work to add foam or froth to speciality drinks and coffees. You can use a milk frother after pouring yourself a coffee from your coffee press or use them to create tea lattes or another impressive milk-based drink.
Milk frothing devices all work to create the same result – but the way these products work can be a little different, depending on what you buy. For instance, while a standard manual milk frother creates bubbles at a slow rate, a professional barista frother will steam drinks more rapidly.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the top types of milk frothers.
Steam Wand Milk Frother
The steam wand is the kind of milk frother you’ll often see in a professional environment. This product can feature hands-free operation if it’s attached to a coffee machine. Usually, the steam wand adds hot steam to a specific area of the milk, adding air and causing foam to begin rising.
Using a milk frother in the form of a steam wand is very easy, with adjustable pressure, so you can choose where you want your foam. However, steam wands can be dangerous when not used correctly, and they’re often quite expensive.
Handheld Electric Milk Frother
A handheld milk frother is a product that contains a propeller-style whisk at the end of a wand. The whisk rotates rapidly, allowing you to add air to the milk. A handheld electric milk frother might include one or two small electric whisks or a set of two frothing discs.
When placed into regular milk, an electric milk frother can easily create all kinds of hot and cold foam for coffee drinks, so you can get the creamy consistency you love. Some people even use this product for protein shakes too. Though you might not get the fastest results with a handheld frother, you can achieve a fantastic bubbly foamy consistency at home.
Manual Milk Frother
If your standard coffee creamer isn’t doing it for you, but you don’t want to spend a fortune to create foam from rice milk, skim milk, or full-fat cold milk, a manual milk frother might be a good choice. Similar in style to a French press, this product takes a lot more time and patience to use than an electric milk frother.
Similar to a French press for coffee drinks, you use a plunger to push mesh into the milk, creating milk froth in the form of air bubbles pushed into the liquid. You will need to hold the top of the device in place while pressing the plunger to avoid a mess. While you won’t have as much control over the texture of the frothed milk with a manual device, you can froth milk with these tools without spending a fortune.
Automatic Electric Milk Frother
An automatic electric milk frother is similar to a handheld electric frother, as it allows you to create a coffee drink with froth in a matter of seconds. With this device, you create all kinds of coffee drinks, similar to those from coffee shops, and you won’t necessarily need to buy your own espresso machine.
Suitable for coffee, hot chocolate, and frothed tea drinks, electric milk frothers sit in your drink and do the work for you without requiring a lot of effort on your part. Similar to a milk steamer, the device will create foam with rapidly moving discs or whisks, turning your hot cocoa or cold brew into the ultimate milk café experience in no time.
Just keep in mind that these products are a little more expensive than other milk frothers, like the standard electric or manual options.
Why Should You Use a Milk Frother?
Frothed milk is a popular addition to many steamed milk and coffee beverages. If you like the foamy texture of steamed milk, or you love having bubbles in your drinks without the calories of whipped cream, this could be the perfect tool for you.
Whether you choose a milk steamer (for steaming milk into a froth), or speciality devices for creating milk foam, there’s something out there to suit every taste and all speciality coffee drinks.
You can even get milk frothers to create milk cafe beverages without heating up the milk. This is ideal if you want the milk foam for a cold brew coffee. Once your adventures with foam begin, it’s hard to go back to drinking coffee without the froth. Using a milk frother will:
- Improve your standard coffee: Using a frother is an excellent way to spruce up a standard drink and keep it at the optimal temperature. You can even get a drink that’s similar to something you’d expect from a professional coffee shop. Fortunately, when you’re making your own foamy happiness at home, you also have more control over exactly how much foam you have, what ingredients go into your beverages and more.
- Save money: A milk frother at home will give you access to the coffee you love in the comfort of your own home. This means you don’t have to spend a fortune on going to a café whenever you get a craving. You can create all kinds of milk cafe products, and you may even learn how to make drinks at home that you love more than the ones in your local café.
- Give you a new hobby: Steaming milk and experimenting with milk foam is a fun way to experiment with your coffee-making skills. You can learn how to draw art with frothed milk or use a combination of steam milk and whipped cream to create decadent drinks for your friends and family. Why not have a little more fun in your kitchen?
Enjoying Frothed Milk at Home
Buying your own milk frother, whether it’s a manual tool or an automatic device, is an excellent way to transform your coffee drinking habit. In no time, you’ll learn how to produce amazing beverages at home, so you can spend less money at your local café. At the same time, you give yourself something new to show off when your friends and family come to visit.
Whether you choose a simple milk frother or something more advanced which comes built into your espresso machine, you’re sure to have fun with your frothing adventures.
How do you enjoy your coffee?
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I’m Judith, a full time housewife with a passion for food, recipes and kitchen gadgets. I write for Snact.co.uk where I reveal all my tips, tricks and secrets.